Night Time Bloooms

“Night Time Blooms”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

I finally am able to welcome an old favorite plant back into my garden. Years ago, my mother gave me a cutting from her night blooming cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), and we enjoyed waiting and watching the gorgeous white blooming flowers for many years. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I lost my plant during a winter freeze. I was disappointed not only because I would no longer see these pretty, white flowers, but also because I had lost a plant that had been in my mother’s garden for so long, and there were so many good memories associated with the flower. The family staying up late to see the flowers, trying to freeze one of the flowers to preserve it (doesn’t work), kids excited to see such a strange flower, all these memories were conjured up every time I would look at the flowers.

Two years ago, I happened to mention to my sister that I had lost mom’s cereus in a freeze. She promptly spoke up and said she had mom’s plant and would give me a cutting. That cutting finally bloomed.

Part of the excitement over this flower is the anticipation. It seems as if the bud should open, and then, nothing. You keep checking night after night knowing if you miss the opening one night, the flower will be totally wilted by dawn. Here is the prehistoric looking bud.



The gorgeous white flower shows up very quickly.




It is so good to have this plant back in my garden and blooming.

One other night bloomer in my garden was given to me by a very generous neighbor. It is Epiphyllum hookeri. This flower, too, opens at night but will last until morning if protected from the sun.



While my neighbor gave me a plant, I have made numerous cuttings and have several plants around the garden. Both of these plants are very easy to propagate – just stick a leaf in soil and soon you have a plant. These must be protected in winter as they are tropicals, but these flowers are certainly worth that effort.



  1. Sue said,

    September 9, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Gorgeous flowers. It is nice to get another chance to have your mother’s plant. I wish I had plants from my mom’s garden, now.

    • Jan said,

      September 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      Sue, I love having plants in my garden that remind me of loved ones. I am so lucky to have plants from my grandmother, a great aunt, sisters, and many dear friends and neighbors. I often think about the people who gave me these plants whenever I walk by them. Several of the people who have shared their gardens with me are no longer alive, and having their plants to remind me of them is so nice.

  2. Janey said,

    September 9, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Lovely flowers and it is so wonderful they bloom at night.

    • Jan said,

      September 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      Janey, I am trying to get out at night to take some photos of my night blooming jasmine so I can do a posting about it. I find night blooming flowers so interesting.

  3. Robert said,

    September 10, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Your photo of the bud is very good. I remember hearing that the night blooming cereus flower was supposed to be Christ and the manger scene. Have you heard that, too?

    • Jan said,

      September 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      Yes, Robert, I now remember my mother saying something about this. I believe the stigma, which hangs low in the center of the flower is supposed to be the star, and the rows of stamens are supposed to be the people around the manger. If I get another bloom, I will have to look more closely for this.

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